Still Life With Parrot, Frida Khalo, 1951


Here lies
my smile, off centered
just a bit, fruitful
and meant
to carry with it a waft
of summertime, fall
harvest, teeth trembling
and some knocked to the floor.
I’ll paint them back,
brush aside my obscure
hair, choose
from a pallet what shades
I recall, what tint
I can remember,
paint in the empty guts
filled with the shape
of your fist, filled
with the absence
of beauty, cursed to spend
eternity merely a pit,
vacuum of love
hinted at, signed for, wrote
down in memory. What was it
you promised me?
Here parrot
with your sad eyes,
Parrot, say back my words.
Polly. Say Polly.
Polly with the sad eyes.
Glower Polly with your beak.
Will you please sink into me.
Taste me
juicy, succulent. I,
the one who can give you seed,
on who’s juice
you will feed.
Those others are just skin,
rough and unopened,
hide that will be work
for you to pierce. See
myself open
Polly. Taste me. Here lies
my snide
remarks, sheepish
grin, my tendencies
to shrug off
your wise commands, challenge
to your claims
of property, superiority.
Rough flesh
all of them, promises
and hints of what
might be below
the surface. I say
they are rotten
and empty. They are
neither. Juicy,
if they can find
one to carve, one to leave
them piecemeal in the horrid sun. Thick
with their flesh
waiting to fall away. Here lies
my rotting,
freed flesh, sold
along the edge of the road
to any man
who will buy my seeds,
my fruit, my skin
with a thousand eyes.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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